Virtual events lined up for Cup Match
A combination of history, culture and sport will shape a series of online and broadcast events to celebrate the Cup Match holiday — including the first Mary Prince Day.
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Community Affairs and Sport, said yesterday that Covid-19 pandemic restrictions would not stop Bermuda from marking the much loved summer event.
She added: “Emancipation Day is traditionally observed on the first day of the Cup Match holiday.
“This year, for the first time in our history, on the second day of the holiday, our community will celebrate a day named for one of Bermuda's National Heroes — Mary Prince.”
MPs approved a move in February to rename the Somers Day holiday in honour of the campaigner for the abolition of slavery, with support from both sides of the House of Assembly.
Ms Foggo said then: “Mary Prince is recognised on the world stage for the critical role she played in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire by telling her story about her life as a slave.
“It's only fitting that the second day of Cup Match be renamed for her.”
The holiday had been named after Admiral Sir George Somers, whose shipwreck off Bermuda in 1609 led to British settlement.
Ms Prince, who was born in Bermuda, wrote about her experiences on the island, in the Turks & Caicos Islands and Antigua.
Her autobiography, published in 1831, helped the case of abolitionists in Britain.
Slavery was abolished across the then British Empire in 1834.
A government spokeswoman said yesterday: “Mary Prince was the first enslaved woman in the British West Indies to give a formal account of her life.
“Her autobiography was considered so authentic and poignant that it contributed to the abolition of slavery in Bermuda and the British Caribbean.”
Ms Foggo added that the coronavirus pandemic meant that “our typical historical and sporting observances must be conducted slightly differently than in the past”.
She said: “Instead of in-person events and gatherings, the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs will showcase a series of events and activities online, such as lectures, films, webinars and other creative offerings to honour Emancipation Day, Mary Prince Day and the Cup Match cricket classic.
“But, more specifically as it relates to the Cup Match holiday, we are very excited about our plans for recognising the holiday.
“To that end, the Government in partnership with Somerset Cricket Club and St George's Cricket Club, our creative community, and leading sports figures have come together to showcase and honour the historical and cultural significance of Cup Match.
“As a snapshot of what the public can expect, we have a full two-day line-up of community and cultural affairs and CITV programming, which includes social-media partnerships engaging the community about the uniqueness of Cup Match, past footage of matches, and interviews with past and present players.
“We will also release a full schedule of CITV's offerings closer to the date. So although the two-day cricket match won't take place, our holiday observances will. And we believe we have the right mix of events to ensure a memorable virtual holiday experience.”
Transport firm Titan Express will deliver a Zoom webinar called “Emancipation Stories of Mary Prince and the Friendly Societies” next Thursday and on July 23.
Treasures of Bermuda Tours will offer an “Art of Resistance Tour: From Misery to Memorials, Uncovering the History of Art” on July 21 and will go “Exploring Bermuda's Black Mecca” on July 25.
A 90-minute Bermuda Cup Match Conversations Physical Distancing Edition will be broadcast by the Department of Communications on July 27 to “relive some of the excitement of previous games, remind viewers of the importance of the holiday and pay homage to some of the highlights and stars of previous games”.
CITV will offer Cup Match programming over July 30 and 31 — when fans would have flocked to Somerset Cricket Club to watch the match if restrictions had not caused its cancellation last month.
David Burt, the Premier, and Ms Foggo will welcome viewers, who will also have the chance to watch Mary Prince and Emancipation Day documentaries and lectures.
Social-media group Bermemes will also team up with the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs for virtual Cup Match celebrations.
Milton Raposo, a documentary film-maker and founder of Method Media Bermuda, will interview Cup Match players to offer an insider's view of the anticipation and excitement of the event.
A talk by historian Clarence Maxwell called “Mary Prince and the Struggle for Freedom” will air on communityandculture.bm or on the Bermuda Culture YouTube channel.
The Department of Libraries and Archives, in collaboration with the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and Friends of the Bermuda National Library, will present a webinar about “Stories We Tell Our Children” on August 8.
Theodore Francis, an assistant history professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, will speak about “Black Resistance”.
Dr Maxwell will also cover Pre-Enslavement Bermuda and author Quito Swan will discuss Black Power Movement.
• To view the full events list, click on the PDF link under “Related Media”